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Photographs - Collections - 2006 #2006-P-008

Title: Nellie Hiett Stewart

Dates: ca. 1900-1950

Collection Number: 2006-P-008

Quantity: 74 images

Abstract: Photographs of Lisbon and Verona, North Dakota, and the citizens covering the period of ca. 1900 to 1950. The most recent, dated, photographs are from the 1933 Epworth League Convention held in Valley City, ND. The photographs have been sorted into three series: Family and Friends Photographs, Lisbon and Verona Scenes, and Other North Dakota Views.

Provenance: The State Historical Society of North Dakota acquired the photographs as a gift from Sarah S. Brown on August 1, 2005. Her mother, Mrs. Nellie Hiett Stewart, collected the photographs. This record series was processed and the inventory prepared by Debra A. Griffith, Photo Archives intern, in May 2006.

Property rights: The State Historical Society of North Dakota owns the property rights to the collection.

Copyright: Copyright of the Nellie Hiett Stewart Photographs has been dedicated to the public. Consideration of all other copyrights is the responsibility of the author and publisher.

Access: This collection is open under the rules and regulations of the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

Citation: Researchers are requested to cite the collection title, collection number, and the State Historical Society of North Dakota in all footnote and bibliographic references.

Transfer: Financial documents pertaining to the Methodist Episcopal Church of Verona were separated to the manuscript collections as MSS 21009 on May 23, 2006.

Historical Sketch

Lisbon was platted in 1879 by J. H. Colton, and became the Ransom County seat in approximately 1882. The Northern Pacific Railroad came to Lisbon in 1882, and crossed the river in 1883. George H. Hand, the Secretary of the Dakota Territory, signed the town charter on 03-18-1883. In 1907 the Sorenson Mills in Lisbon began milling Durum wheat. The North Dakota State Soldiers Home was established in Lisbon in 1892, and took in its first resident on 08-02-1893. It was governed by a five-member Board of Trustees appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Commandant of the Home was appointed by the Board and the qualifications included being honorably discharged after serving in the Spanish-American War, World War I, or World War II. The collection has several photographs of the grounds and Commandants home (images 60, 61, and 62). There are only slight differences between images 60 and 62, and it would appear probable that all three photographs were taken at the same time, given the presence of the car and passengers visible. They date from the time period (1903-1920) during which Col. J. W. Carroll was the second Commandant.
Originally a Northern Pacific Railroad station known as Matson, Verona got its current name in 1886 when the Post Office established an office there. It was incorporated in 1905, and became a city in 1968.


Fred Isley (b. 10-28-1880, d. 12-10-1962) was the Ransom County Commissioner 1924-1925. He married Adora Annette “Nettie” Lyman (d. 02-16-1974) on 03-14-1905. They had four children: Arthur Merle (b. 01-15-1907), Orville Wayne (b. 05-20-1910), Grace Isabella (b. 01-24-1914), and Walter Frederich (b. 10-28-1915). Grace graduated from Lisbon High School in 1931, with Esther Utecht and Dwight Kortie. Walter graduated in 1933. The collection contains a photograph of the family farm, dated 1913 (image # 11), and a family portrait dating approximately from 1920 (image # 12, dated based on estimated age of Walter in the photo).

Several branches of the Kvello family are documented in the collection. The common ancestor is Andrew C Kvello (b. 1840). He and his wife, Anne ‘Mother’ (b. 12-1846) moved to Lisbon in 1881 from Fargo. He was Ransom County Commissioner in 1882, which made him the first Norwegian to hold office in Ransom County, and became county treasurer in 1889-1890. They had six children: Conrad Albert (06-28-1875), Alfred M (b. 03-1877, d. 1941) (image 43), Olaf A. (b. 07-1879), Elmer (b. 07-1881), Clara (b. 09-1883), and Ingvar (b. 12-1886, d. 2-05-1944).
Conrad Kvello eventually moved to New Mexico. We know he registered for the draft in 1917, but little else is known of his life. He is depicted in images 40-42 (double check).
Alfred M. Kvello graduated from Lisbon High School in 1896 and from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1900. He was admitted to the North Dakota Bar in 1901, and served as Ransom County State’s Attorney from 1903-1908. He served as President of the North Dakota State Bar in 1930. Alfred was a founding member of the Ransom Historical Society (founded 11-15-1923). Alfred’s first wife, Myrtle Cooper (b. 1881 d. 02-04-1917) died in a car fire-explosion. They had one child, Avis (b. 1906). After Myrtle’s death, Alfred boarded with the James N. Rust family for a time, and Avis was sent to live with Myrtle’s parents in Minnesota. He remarried to Ellen Rutherford (b. 05-15-1894, d. 06-1971; the daughter of Mrs. Anne Rutherford of Owego, ND), and had two children with her (Albor, b. early 1925, and Alan Rutherford, b. 12-23-1925).
Lt Comm. Alan R. Kvello (images 28, 29, 30, 43 (with father, Alfred M. Kvello)) married Twyla Jean Sweesey (b. 1929) on 03-13-1948.
Olaf became a doctor, and married Alice Evelyn Senn on 10-26-1917.
Clara married Hal Lane (images 39 and 40). She was a charter member and first Secretary of the Order of the Eastern Star. It is unknown whether the Lane house depicted in image 44 is Hal and Clara’s home.
We have no additional information on Elmer or Ingvar Kvello.

Thomas A Curtis (b. 01-1862, d. 1919), a lawyer, and Phoebe Forward (b. 02-1870, d. 1923) were married on 08-08-1886. They had five children: Soren B (b. 07-1887), Walter G. (b. 03-1889, d. 1970), Rolla A. (b. 09-1890), Elsie (b. 03-1985), and Alice Louise (b. 04-1898). Walter (image 10) married Carolyn Marsh (b. 1892, d. 1994 at 102) in 1912. Carolyn Marsh Curtis was a founding member of the Ransom Historical Society, with Alfred M. Kvello, and served as the first town librarian. Walter, Sr. was the mayor of Lisbon from 1922 to 1929. He was also the first commander (1919-1922) of the American Legion Florence Kimball Post #7. This Post was one of the first in the State, and the only one named for a woman (Florence Kimball, a native of the area). Walter and Carolyn had two children: Walter G, Jr. (b. 1919) and Robert W (b. 1923).
We have no additional information on Soren, Rolla, Elsie, or Alice.

William Ernest Chisman (b. 1874, d. 12-1949) served as mayor of Lisbon from 1918-1920, and 1946-1949. He married Beulah K. Armacost (b. 1879, d. 1961) on 01-14-1909 in Lafayette, IN. They had four children: Uarda W. (b. 1912), Lyman Kenton (b. 1915), Beulah Evelyn (b. 1918), and William Ernest Jr. (b. 02-05-1922). Uarda’s name is in dispute. It is variously seen as ‘Warda’ and ‘Uards’ in census records located through Members of the family are shown in images 1 through 5. Images 4 and 5 are very similar, but do have slight differences indicating they are not duplicates. William Sr. is also shown in image 60. He worked in real estate for many years, opening his office in Lisbon in 1903. His son, William Jr., took over the office after his death in 1949. The photographs in the collection showing farm properties for sale (images 71-74) were probably from the real estate office.
Uarda married Leonard Pezella, and they had a son, James. Lyman married Stella Leer, and they had three children: Kent, Karen, and Janet. Beulah married Harry Glaesman. They had one son, Ronald Ray. William Jr. married Dorothy Hess. They had four children: Mary, Nancy, William III, and Jane.
William III married Billy Roe, and they had one son, William IV. Jane married Blake Newman and had two children: Michael and Katelyn.

There are several generations of the Kortie family represented in the photographs, and they form the bulk of the portraits. William L. Kortie (b.1861 in Germany, d. 02-26-1945) and his wife, Eliza Mary (b. 1861) are the head of the family tree. They had eight children: Louis C. (b. 10-16-1882, d. 02-02-1967), Howard Henry (b. 09-26-1889), Norman Kimble (sometimes Norman Kimball; b. 07-22-1891, d. 10-17-1939), William Wells (b.1894), Fred Gorman (b. 11-15-1896, d. 10-01-1969), Lorelle E. (b. 1898), Gladys (b. 1900), and Alice (b. 1902). Alice and William Sr. are shown in image 20.
Louis C. Kortie married Ivy (b. 11-21-1882, d. 03-23-1963). They had two sons: Dwight James (b. 09-07-1912, d. 05-1980) and William Wells ((b. 06-20-1914, d. 03-1983). The Louis Kortie family is shown in image 23. The boys are shown in images 16-18, 22, and 24.
Dwight James married Bernice Vance Britton (b. 01-19-1915). Their wedding portrait is image 27. They had four children: Dwight Jackson ‘Jackie’ (b. 09-28-1935; images 25 and 26), Jil Nadine (b. 05-15-1937), Colin Louis Blake (b. 09-05-1941), and Van William (b. 01-03-1945). Dwight James enlisted in the US Army on 02-23-1944.
William Wells Kortie married Dorothy Margaret Kopp (b. 10-17-1914, d. 05-1994). They had two sons: Louis William ‘Billy’ (b. 04-17-1937), and Sherman Wells ‘Shermie’ (b. 04-30-1938). Image 19, labeled Dwight Kortie’s children is most likely actually William Wells Kortie’s children, Billy and Shermie, given the ages of the two boys.
Fred Gorman Kortie married Julia (b. 1903). They had four children: John W. (b. 1923), Marjorie (b. 1924), Virginia (b. 1928), and Donald (b. 1929). One of John W Kortie’s children, Susie Kortie, became the 1967 Junior Miss pageants’ Miss Alaska.
The next branch of the Kortie family is represented by Norman Kimble Kortie, who married Adelena Tiedeman (b, 8-01-1892, d. 5-17-1961) in October 1915. They had two children: Phyllis F. (b. 1917), and Mavis M. (b. 1921). Norman’s brother, Howard Henry Kortie, is pictured in Norman and Adelena’s wedding photo (image 21) and image #15.
We have no additional information on Howard Henry, Lorelle, Gladys, or Alice Kortie.

James N. Rust (b. 1868) married Ida M. Rust (b. 1867) on 10-05-1897 in Jackson, Tippecanoe Co., Indiana. Ida had previously been married to William (?) Hiett in 1886, and had three children: William C., Jessie, and Nellie Hiett. James and Ida were the manager and assistant manager of the telephone exchange, in addition to farming. They are shown in several outing photos (images 39-41). Nellie Hiett married Harry Stewart, and they had several children: Lois F. (B. 1914), Dorothy (b. 1916), Charles (b. 1930), and Sarah (b. ?).

Edward Charles Tresemer (b. 11-22-1886, d. 07-31-1955) married Datrese (b. 1895). They had two children: Edna (b. 1918) and Edward E. Edna graduated from Lisbon High School in 1936, and went into nursing. We have her high school and nursing school graduation photos (images 35 and 36). She married Sam Wheeler (d. 1980) and remained in nursing all her working life.

Scope and Content

These photographs are a portion of the collection of Mrs. Nellie Hiett Stewart, Mrs. Brown’s mother. Mrs. Nellie Hiett Stewart was the stepdaughter of Mr. James N. and Mrs. Ida Rust of Lisbon, ND. The collection covers a time period of circa 1900-1950, with the greatest depth of material in the years 1905-1935.

Included in the collection are formal and informal portraits of citizens in the Lisbon and Verona areas that have some relationship to the creator of the collection, Mrs. Nellie Hiett Stewart, and her family. The Rust family itself is not well covered, which is why Mrs. Brown has donated this set of photographs. Families documented in this collection include: Rust, Kvello. Kortie, Chisman, Isley, and Curtis. Towns represented are Lisbon, Ransom Co. (ND) and Verona, LaMouer Co. (ND). The North Dakota State Soldiers Home is represented by several photos of the grounds and the Commandant’s home (images 60-62).

There are several aspects of North Dakota documented in this collection. First, the family relationships of the Lisbon and Verona area. Second, the social aspects of rural life are documented through photographs of events such as July 4th parades, picnics, and conventions. Third, the photographs track, in a small way, the changes to the towns and farmsteads of the area. In addition, the real estate photos provide clues to the value of land in the early 20th century.

A strength of the collection is the notations made on all but one of the images by Mrs. Ida Rust, the mother of Mrs. Nellie Hiett Stewart. This makes the collection material more accessible, and aided in grouping the photographs. A weakness of the collection is the large amount of undated material, which makes the material difficult to use for genealogical research.
The majority of the materials are informal photographs of approximately 8.8 cm x 14 cm. 31 of the 74 images are sepia-tone silver prints, and the remainder are black and white silver prints. Of the photographs with identified photographers, the majority were done by the McNally studio of Lisbon, ND. McNally also had an adjunct studio in Verona, ND.

There appeared to be no arrangement schemes within the collection. The donor removed these photographs from a larger collection maintained by her mother. The photographs were shipped loose in a large box. A handful of smaller, informal photographs were grouped in an envelope marked ‘Lisbon, ND’. These photographs constitute images 38-49.

The broad outline of the collection includes three subgroups; portraits of individuals, identified scenes in Lisbon or Verona, and general views of North Dakota. The portraits are further ordered by family name. If there is more than one person in a photograph, it is sorted to the last name of the first identified person in the photograph. If additional identifying information is determined, it is entered on the back of the photograph in square brackets. This information is also entered in the Access inventory database, in the ‘Inscriptions mask’ field. The images from the envelope were entered after the initial portraits, in the order they had in the envelope. The ordering used for the photographs in the envelope was not discernable.

Series Description

The material is arranged in three series: Family and Friends Photographs, Lisbon and Verona Scenes, and Other North Dakota Views.

Series One:
Family and Friends Photographs contains 49 images. In the Historical Sketch, many of the individual images are identified by family, and in some cases, individuals. While we do not know all the connections between these families and the Rust family, it does appear from the large volume of images of the Kortie and Kvello families that they had a close relationship. There also appears to be a link between many of the families and the state of Indiana. The photograph of a July 4th picnic at Fort Ransom (image 54) carries the inscription, “All Hoosiers.”

Series Two:
Lisbon and Verona Scenes contains 19 images. The scenes of Bear Creek (images 50-53) would be between Verona, ND and Oakes, ND. Images 56 to 59, depict the James N. Rust homestead near Verona, ND. The scenes of a barn after a cyclone may have been taken in 1917, as news accounts of that year indicate storm damage was great enough to draw visitors from out of state.
Images 60 to 62 depict the North Dakota State Soldiers Home, now known as the North Dakota Veterans Home, during the time period 1903-1920. This is dated by the tenure of Commandant Carroll.
The remaining views are of Lisbon, ND.

Series Three:
Other North Dakota Views contains six images. There is no specific place information available for these images. They may have been used in the Chisman real estate office as several have acreages and prices listed on the reverse.

Box / Folder Inventory

Series One: Family and Friends

Box 1:

1 Alkire and Chisman families, 1915-1918
2 W. E. Chisman and children, 1915
3 Chisman children, 1920
4 Mr. And Mrs. W. E. Chisman, 1900-1920
5 Mr. And Mrs. W. E. Chisman, 1900-1920
6 Mr. Collette, 1900-1920
7 James Hayden wedding photograph, 1900-1920
8 James Hayden, 1900-1920
9 Harry and Charlie Hopewell, 1900-1920
10 W. G. Curtis, 03-20-1909
11 Fred Isley farm, 1913
12 Fred Isley family portrait, 1920-1925
13 Billy, Dorothy and Shermie Kortie, 1930-1950
14 Kortie family, 1930-1950
15 Howard Kortie, 1900-1920
16 Dwight and Billie Kortie, ca.1917
17 Dwight and Billie Kortie, ca.1917
18 Dwight and Bill Kortie, ca.1916
19 Dwight Kortie's children, 1930-1950
20 William and Alice Kortie, 1920-1930
21 Mr. and Mrs. Norman Kortie wedding portrait, 1900-1920
22 William Kortie, 1930-1940
23 Louis C. Kortie family, 1920-1940
24 Dwight Kortie, 1930-1940
2 25 Dwight Jackson Kortie, n.d.
26 Dwight Jackson Kortie, n.d.
27 Mr. And Mrs. Dwight Kortie, n.d.
28 Alan Kvello, 1926-1932
29 Alan Kvello, 1926-1927
30 A. M. Kvello, n.d.
31 Mr. and Mrs. Hal Lane and daughter, n.d.
32 Francis McCann, n.d.
33 Jean Nelson, 1920-1925
34 Gladys Prinzing, nd
35 Edna Tresemer, 1936
36 Edna Tresemer, 1937-1941
37 High School graduate, 1930-1940
38 Grace Kickford and Bobbie Taylor, n.d.
39 Three women with car, 1917
40 Outing group, 1917
41 Outing group, 1917
42 Conrad Kvello, n.d.
43 Alfred M. Kvello and Alan Kvello, 02-09-1926
44 Lane house, n.d.
45 Brookside Farm, n.d.
46 Joe Webber, n.d.
47 Donald Supler and Loyal Pilger, 1933
48 Epworth League camp, 1933
49 Verona Rhythm Band, n.d.

Series Two: Lisbon and Verona Scenes

50 Bear Creek, n.d.
51 Bear Creek, n.d.
52 Bridge over Bear Creek, n.d.
53 Bear Creek, n.d.
3 54 July 4th picnic at Fort Ransom, 07-04-1910
55 J. N. Rust Farmstead, n.d.
56 Farmstead, n.d.
57 Silo, home of J. N. Rust Verona (ND), n.d.
58 Barn on farm of J. N. Rust Verona (ND) after cyclone, n.d.
59 Barn on farm of J. N. Rust Verona (ND) after cyclone, n.d.
60 Buildings at North Dakota State Soldiers Home, ca.1903-1920
61 Commandant's home at North Dakota State Soldiers Home, ca.1903-1920
62 Commandant's home at North Dakota State Soldiers Home, ca.1903-1920
63 Lisbon (ND), n.d.
64 Panoramic view of Lisbon (ND), nd
65 View of Lisbon (ND), n.d.
66 View of Lisbon (ND), n.d.
67 View of Lisbon (ND), n.d.
68 Parade in Lisbon (ND), 1900-1915

Series Three: Other North Dakota Views

69 Apple tree, n.d.
70 Three 4-horse teams and implement, n.d.
71 View of Dakotah fields, n.d.
72 A home in North Dakota, n.d.
73 Fields in North Dakota, n.d.
74 North Dakota harvest fields, n.d.

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